Looking for one of the best ski resorts in Vermont for families? Look no further than the wonderful Sugarbush Resort, in Warren, VT.
Only a three and a half-hour drive from Boston, Sugarbush is a wonderful resort that offers a range of skiing, from beginners to experts. Not far from Killington, but more suitable for families, this lovely resort is in the heart of Vermont.
Though this post focuses on Sugarbush Resort as a ski destination, it is actually a four-season resort where you can enjoy all that Vermont has to offer. From mountain biking and hiking in the summer to leaf peeping and festivals in the fall to fantastic skiing in the winter (and early Spring), it is a great place to visit year-round.
Sugarbush Resort is both family-friendly with a variety of offerings from tots to adults, and it is pooch-friendly too! Here's why it is one of our family's favorites and one of the best ski resorts in Vermont for families!
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Sugarbush: One Of The Best Ski Resorts In Vermont For Families!
The lovely state of Vermont is known for having some of the best ski resorts in the country. When I was a kid, that's where we Northeasterners would go for a ski vacation.
And, while the Green Mountain State's slopes are pretty fantastic for skiers, let's face it. New England's temperamental winter conditions can sometimes make the slopes challenging.
But, as the saying goes, if you can ski the East, you can ski anywhere!
Though there are a lot of excellent resorts to choose from, one of the very best ski resorts in Vermont for families is Sugarbush. It’s not far from Killington but better for families, in my opinion.
How do I know? My husband and I have spent a lot of time in this area having owned a second home near Killington. From its' family-friendly environment to plentiful ski-on, ski-off stays, to a variety of kid-friendly activities and restaurants, Sugarbush is one of our top choices to ski with our kids.
About Sugarbush Ski Resort
Located in Warren, Vermont, Sugarbush is part of the Alterra Mountain Company, which owns 15 ski resorts in the USA and Canada. This includes several famed resorts, like Deer Valley in Utah and Steamboat in Colorado.
The resorts in this group are on the IKON pass. Meaning if you purchase it for the season, you can use it any of the resorts in the group and at 44 different iconic ski destinations on the pass! From personal experience, this is well worth the investment.
Set in the scenic Mad River Valley, Sugarbush Resort is surrounded by picturesque landscapes that include working farms and producers of high-quality foods. The area is known for swimming holes, mountain biking, hiking, fishing, and of course skiing.
It is one of the best fall vacations in the USA for these activities and to see EPIC fall foliage. And, it has excellent mountains perfect for family skiing!
Why Sugarbush Resort Is Family-Friendly
Known by its signature red barn base area, Sugarbush is an excellent getaway for families. In addition to its excellent lodging, skiing, and dining options, Sugarbush offers a wide variety of family-friendly options.
What To Do At Sugarbush Resort
Ski and Ride School
As one of the best ski resorts in Vermont, Sugarbush is a great place for kids' to learn to ski and ride snowboards. Their award-winning “First Timer To Life Timer” program is an excellent place for kids and adults to begin.
Kids as young as three years old through adults can participate. Group* and private lessons are available.
For non-skiers, there is a childcare center at the resort for kids ages six weeks to six years old*. Kids ages four and under get free lift tickets with a paying adult.
There are also snowshoe tours as part of the ski and ride school, for ages nine and up. It is another way to enjoy the great Vermont outdoors in the snow.
Our kids loved the lessons from the excellent instructors and advanced their skiing quite a bit. The instructors were knowledgeable, accessible, and fun, and the kids had a great time.
Lessons start from the Schoolhouse near the Barn base area.
A Note About Terrain At Sugarbush Resort
There are plenty of green and blue slopes for newer skiers, and great terrain to learn. But there are quite a few challenging slopes for advanced skiers, particularly toward the peaks.
In total, Sugarbush Resort has 111 slopes, 16 lifts, and two terrain parks. Its variety of terrain definitely makes it one of the best ski resorts in Vermont.
Check out my post What You Need To Know About Skiing with Kids Safely.
Sugarbush Après-ski Family Activities
After the ski day, Sugarbush has a lot of Après-ski offerings suitable for the family! Options include an indoor kids adventure zone with a bouncy house, trampoline, games, toys, and more.
A family sunrise or sunset cabin cat ride and watch the sunset (or sunrise) over Lincoln Peak is also a fantastic family experience. There is also indoor/outdoor year-round pools and hot tubs, a fitness center, and a family-friendly Mad Scientist Escape Room.
*Some of these activities require reservations.
Where To Stay at Sugarbush Resort
One of the things that makes Sugarbush one of the best ski resorts in Vermont for families is the variety of accommodations. Many of the condos you can rent include kitchens, laundry, bunk beds, fireplaces, and even board games to make them a cozy home away from home.
Some condos – including right on property at the Claybrook Hotel & Residences – are dog friendly! We recently brought our pup, and not only was she fawned over. She received a treat on arrival and enjoyed the dog walking trails and playing in the snow.
Options for accommodations at Sugarbush Resort include rooms at the inn, resort condos, and nearby area properties. Some of these options are slopeside (ski-on, ski off). In our experience, we have found a lot of available slopeside rentals that really made staying at Sugarbush very easy and accommodating for families.
- Claybrook Hotel & Residences – Slopeside accommodations with a lot of home-style amenities, some are dog friendly.
- Sugarbush Village Condominiums – Mountainside properties, some of which are dog-friendly.
- Sugarbush Inn – Onsite inn with the charm of Vermont country, but more hotel-like than a condo.
- Resort Condos – Individually owned resort condos from one to four bedrooms around the property.
- Area Properties – A variety of options available in the Mad River Valley through VRBO.
If you are looking to stay off property, you can also consider one of Vermont's best glamping sites! There are some not far from Sugarbush, on route 100, which would certainly add something special to your Vermont vacation.
You also can search for nearby Sugarbush Resort hotels below ⤵.
Renting A Condo At Sugarbush
You can also rent a condo near Sugarbush through VRBO. The benefits of this option include more space, a kitchen and often laundry, living room, and you can house a larger group if skiing with friends.
It helps us reduce our ski trip packing list! And, some of the properties are ski-on/ski-off, making it very easy to access the slopes.
Where To Dine At Sugarbush Resort
Sugarbush has plenty of family-friendly restaurants and meal options on the property. One thing to know about Vermont is that Vermonters take food quality very seriously! Especially in an area surrounding Sugarbush, you will find top-quality ingredients and products sourced locally on many of the menus.
Vermont is also known for excellent breakfasts, often served with local maple syrup. This is definitely one meal to try at one of the wonderful on-site restaurants like Rumbles Bistro.
During your ski day, you will find an assortment of dining options at a variety of lodges on and at the base of the mountain. Additional onsite dining options include:
- 802 Burrito
- Allyn's Lodge (on the mountain)
- Castlerock Pub
- Fit To Be Thai'd
- The Lunch Box
- Mt. Ellen Cafeteria
- Nomad Coffee
- Rumble's Bistro and Bar
- Waffle Cabin
- Walt's At The Glen House
- Wünderbar & Wünder Down Under
Getting To Sugarbush Resort
Though it is nestled in Central Vermont, it is actually quite accessible.
Driving Times To Sugarbush Resort From:
- Montreal, Quebec, Canada: 138 Miles/2-3 hours
- Boston, Massachusetts: 188 Miles/3+ hours
- New York, New York: 323 Miles/5-6 hours
The following airports are accessible to Sugarbush, with a drive afterward (so you may need to rent a car.)
- Vermont's Burlington International Airport – BTV (1 hour drive)
- Boston Logan International Airport – BOS (3 to 4 hour drive)
- Portland Maine International Jetport – PWM (3-4 hour drive)
- Montreal Airport, Canada – YUL (2-3 hour drive)
Visiting Boston? Check out the 15 Best Things To Do With Kids In Boston!
Frequently Asked Questions:
Is Sugarbush Resort good for beginners?
Sugarbush Resort is ideal for preschool-aged kids up to teens and adults. There is childcare available for babies to preschool age as well. It definitely offers enough challenge that teens and advanced skiers will definitely enjoy it, and little ones will love the family-friendly offerings.
How Many Trails does Sugarbush have?
In total, Sugarbush Resort has 111 slopes, 16 lifts, and two terrain parks. The variety available for all ski levels makes it one of the best ski resorts in Vermont.
How much are lift tickets at Sugarbush?
Lift tickets range in price based on a variety of factors including the day you are skiing.
For 2022/2023, all current ONE DAY, ALL MOUNTAIN prices:
- From $189 and up (day of the week dependent) for ages 5 to 89 (4 and under are free though there is a $5 charge for the first-time pass. Thereafter in that season, the pass is loaded at no charge.)
For 2022/2023, all Mt. ELLEN ONLY prices:
- From $89 and up (day of the week dependent.)
Ikon pass holders can purchase friends and family tickets at 25% off the window price, with certain restrictions.
Can you rent skis and snowboards at Sugarbush Resort?
Yes, you can! The main rental shop has equipment rentals and packages. Check the Sugarbush Resort's rental page for details.
How far is Sugarbush from Burlington, Vermont?
Sugarbush Resort is only 47 miles (about an hour to 75 minutes drive) from Burlington, Vermont. If you want to fly into Sugarbush, you can fly into Burlington International Airport (BTV) and either take a shuttle or rent a car to drive about an hour to get to the resort.
Is Sugarbush Resort dog-friendly?
YES! Many of the condos on the property, including at the Claybrook Hotel & Residences, as well as nearby rentals, permit dogs. Be sure to ask in advance. In fact, when we recently checked in at the Claybrook, the concierge noted 25% of the guests bring dogs.
Resort staff are very happy to greet the four-legged guests with a treat. You will also find dog-walking trails and “doggy bins” for cleanup on the property.
What else is there to do in the area outside Sugarbush Resort?
There are several nearby experiences your family can enjoy, such as:
- The Big Theater Picture and Cafe
- Dog Sledding
- Vermont Icelandic Horse Farm
- Vermont Guided Tours In Burlington
- Visit The Warren Country Store for some local products
- Local Snowmobile Tours
Note: Some of these activities may only be open seasonally, so check before visiting.
The Last Thing You Need To Know About Sugarbush
Sugarbush Resort is definitely one of the best ski resorts in Vermont for families. In addition to its' variety of family amenities, it also provides a lot of terrain for all ski levels.
Located right in the heart of Vermont, Sugarbush is a charming ski resort with easy to access activities and restaurants right on property and some of the best of what Vermont has to offer off property. Be sure to add Sugarbush Resort to your list of the best ski resorts in Vermont to visit with your family.